Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Phase 3

Well Matt started school today. And before anyone takes what I say next personally let me say I mean no disrespect to people who work hard at their jobs and don't mean to offend anyone.

However, this hasn't been a good experience.

Three weeks ago I started getting things ready to register him for school, realizing since he was a new student it might take a bit longer. It took me awhile to get things going and get in contact with the correct school. I met the new counselling secretary (a very pleasant woman) who was very helpful (when you could get ahold of her). However not knowing what questions to ask I didn't get the information I actually needed.

Last Wednesday we went in for his schedule pickup at the school. The week before I had filled out a packet of papers and had only two forms left. But for this event I had nothing but it's name "schedule pickup". Sounds pretty simple, right?

We get to the school and parking is horrendous. Lots of folks there. The first clue this wasn't going to be a good or easy thing. We park and go down to the school and the second thing we see is a long, long ass line waiting to go into the new wing (where the counselling office is). One woman out by the door who appeared to be passing out forms and papers but who was too busy to answer any of my questions (and truthfully didn't even appear to notice I was standing next to her).

More later, have a meeting now.

The second clue this wasn't going to be good. Now I'm no stranger to standing in line, I was in the Army, I know how to (as Arthur Dent says) "queue up". But I'd hate to wait in this hour (or more) long line only to get to the head and find out I didn't actually have to stand in line since I'd filled out all the papers already. However there was no one to ask about this. So I queued up.

After about an hour in the heat we get into the building and turn in one of the two forms I hadn't filled out. We get a checklist and the woman stamps it, telling us to make sure we come back and let her know what Matt's student number is. We move to station 2. We've done this one already and get the stamp and on to 3. About the middle of this process we hit a station where they want money. Now I didn't bring my checkbook (since I ridiculously thought we were only picking up his schedule) and I certainly wasn't going to leave the line to go get it. So I don't get money deposited into his cafeteria account, or order his yearbook (or get hosed into any of the other things where people wanted my money - which is in short supply since he moved in with me). He took his school picture (and he had what I *think* was pink eye that morning so it's not going to be a good picture I think) but didn't actually have to do any of the other stations besides dropping off the emergency info card and actually getting his schedule. However we had to have the list stamped and wait in the line.

Good start, eh?

Monday I finally got ahold of his supplies list. Every time I went to the store before this (about three times) the slot for his school (Jefferson Junior) was empty, all gone. Finally calling the school got me a woman who read me a copy so I got his supplies.

Yesterday I worked on finding out more details about the bus. I had the route list and it said (and I quote)


Now our street isn't a major road or anything, but it is about eight or ten blocks long. So if he's waiting down by the house and the bus actually arrives at the intersection with Forum (the major street) then there's no one who can run fast enough to get on the bus. And leaving at 0645 for school that starts at 0800? Granted there are other kids to pick up but still ...?

So I call for the nice secretary but she's not in. I leave a message (still haven't heard back). I call the district and get rerouted to the school. The nice woman there is looking at the exact same document I have so she can't help. But she does give me the bus company phone number. So I start calling them around 1530, busy. I call again 5 minutes later, busy. It continues till just after 1600 when it rings finally. Well it rang because they were closed. Call back tomorrow at 0600. Not helpful but I guess if you come in to work at 6 leaving at 4 is expected.

So, as I told Sharon last night at the game, I don't expect them to run with military efficiency. Hell, the military doesn't even run with military efficiency. But a blind monkey and his deaf cousin could do better.


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